We are all familiar with the acronym-like adage which can be extracted from the word “assume”. In preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, the first question that one must ask of one’s self is: “Do I have a supportive doctor?” If the answer is an unequivocal “No”, then entertaining even the thought of proceeding forward with the process is a virtual act of futility.
Now, to all unqualified statements, there are exceptions to the rule. There are, indeed, medical conditions where the mere treatment records, office notes, etc., reveal irrefutably of a medical condition of such severity that there is no question as to its impact upon one’s ability/inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job. But that is rare. If the answer to the original question is: “He may be…” “I assume he is supportive…” “He seems supportive because…” While these are niceties in one’s figment of one’s imagination, and foster a sense of security and a warmth for a doctor-patient relationship, such answers all have an undercurrent of an assumption. Don’t assume, if you are planning to go forward with a Federal Disability Retirement application. Instead, make an appointment with your doctor and have a frank and open discussion.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire